Friday, 04 July 2014 20:14

Maliki army and pro-government militias execute Sunnis in prisons

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Amnesty International emphasized that "extrajudicial executions" of Sunni detainees took place early this month by Iraqi government forces and Shia militias in the Iraqi cities of Tal 'Afar, Mosul and Ba'quba.

The organization said in a report released earlier; it got certificates alarming made ​​by survivors of those crimes that painted a bleak picture of massacres committed against detainees in government prisons in the cities mentioned, indicating that these crimes represent reprisals carried out by government forces before withdrawal from cities Tal Afar and Mosul in Nineveh province northern Iraq.

In the same context, a statement issued by the International Human Rights Organisation, these "vengeful" acts were described as "war crimes."

The organisation said: "Surviving detainees and relatives of those killed gave graphic accounts that suggest Iraqi forces had carried out a series of vengeful attacks against Sunni detainees before withdrawing from Tal 'Afar and Mosul in northern Iraq."

Survivors and witnesses tell Amnesty International that Iraqi prison guards carried out the slaughter before Iraqi forces withdrew.

Ba'quba mayor Abdallah Al-Hayali told the organisation that his 21 year-old nephew was among up to 50 people "extrajudicially executed" in an incident at Al-Wahda police station in the Mufraq district of central Ba'quba in the early hours of 16 June.

To the north, a video obtained by CNN, confirmed by Amnesty International as one of the rooms where the killings took place in Tal Afar, shows a prison cell, the floor slick with blood, where bodies of men are piled on top of one another. They appear to have fallen where they were shot.

In that same video, a woman in a black abaya with a printed head scarf stands over her brother, brushing flies from his body.

She said she found his body among others in a room in the Tal Afar detention facility.

"He was in the prison," said the woman, clearly in shock. "He was killed."

Asked how many bodies were among those with her brother, she said: "They killed a lot. I don't know."

Amnesty International continued: "According to a medical report obtained by the mayor, he had been shot in the head. Many of those killed with him had been shot in the head and the chest. Sunni policemen who witnessed the killing fled their posts afterwards for fear of reprisal."

Amnesty International's senior crisis response adviser Donatella Rovera, who is currently in northern Iraq, said: "Reports of multiple incidents where Sunni detainees have been killed in cold blood while in the custody of Iraqi forces are deeply alarming."

She continued: "The killings suggest a worrying pattern of reprisal attacks against Sunnis in retaliation for ISIS gains."

amsi.com & agencies

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